Broccoli

Growing Tips

Planting

For spring broccoli, plant in greenhouse in flats. Sow ¼” to ½” deep. For fresh market broccoli, plant on 30” beds with trickle irrigation. On a 30” bed, plant two rows of broccoli. Plants should be 15” apart. When planting fall broccoli, count backward from the first fall frost in your area and add about 30 days from planting. This can be either started in a greenhouse or direct seeded into the field. 

Management

Use starter fertilizer for transplants and side-dress with nitrogen fertilizer when the plants are half grown. Provide ample soil moisture, especially as the heads develop. Scout fields for aphids and cabbage worms.

Harvest

Harvest when the head is large and firm, with a compact cluster of small flower buds. The buds should not have bright yellow flowers showing. Look for bright green or purplish-green heads. Yellow flowers and enlarged buds are signs of over-maturity.

Storage

Store the broccoli, unwashed, in loose or perforated plastic bags in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator. Broccoli left unrefrigerated quickly becomes fibrous and woody. Wet broccoli quickly becomes limp and moldy in the refrigerator—so wash it just before using. Store fresh broccoli in the refrigerator for 3 - 5 days. Old broccoli may look fine, but it develops strong undesirable flavors. It tastes best and is highest in nutritional value when storage time is brief.